Belle and Ariel in da house! Too much? OK… :)
As I write this opening paragraph, I am about to begin the final additional stitches on the two Disney Princess dresses I made during August and the early part of September. Two beautiful little girls had a wonderful time at Disneyland, and wore these dresses to their “Dinner with The Princesses.” I am so happy to have been able to play a part in making their trip special!!
When the dresses arrived home from California, I still had some work to do to make them durable enough for play-pretend and Halloween so I got them back. (I admit it – I’m a procrastinator and was rushing the finish work up until the very last minute and beyond. Thanks, most-forgiving-mom-ever, for your patience and calmness!)
First thing, I washed them up in my front loading washing machine after spot treating – always pretest your choices — and they came perfectly clean. This was a 2 year old and an almost-5 year old eating dinner and hanging out; spots are what happens!
Once the dresses were dry, I got to work! heheh – check out my arrangement for drying the layers of the skirts! A small fan laying down inside a hamper, which is holding the skirt layers out. Practical Problem Solving meets Creative once again!
The size 2T yellow dress is my version, as close to the movie Beauty and the Beast as I could make it, of Belle’s yellow ball gown at the end of the movie. The size 3T-around/5-long rose dress is the same idea for Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Well… Ariel’s dress in the movie is pretty dull – an awkward mauve with grayish periwinkle accents. I turned it into a rose/pink version because I think that’s what most little girls would interpret her dress to be – I did until I studied closely!
I already had the rose satin, so that worked! The pink chiffon underskirt here has clear iridescent dots which reflect a lot more blue and green IRL than in the photos. It is underlined with pink organza for body and to intensify the pink color (I rolled some up so you can notice its color, upper right.) Under those layers are the cream slip with the tulle petticoats.
Cream-colored slip, you ask? That’s what worked best — always try lots of underlayer colors for sheer fabrics. You’ll be amazed at how it can change the color qualities! If you want some yellow fabric-love, see previous posts :)
All fabrics are readily available special occasion sewing fabric out of durable ~washable~ polyester, with pre-washed cotton and cotton-blend inner materials for comfort and stability. Sure, some of these fabrics will get some snags as the months go by, but these dresses aren’t heirlooms-to-be, they are meant to be Used UP!
The dresses are designed upon the basic pattern pieces from almost any little girl’s costume gown pattern. Here are links to the actual patterns I adapted for Ariel and Belle. I visited one store for all the supplies: my <3 (and $) belong to Jo-Ann for projects like this!
Meanwhile, here are the finished dresses to share with you!
Belle’s gown in the movie is off-the-shoulder. Not gonna do that for a 2 year old! I managed to cover the narrowed shoulder seam with poufy sheer fabric that caps her shoulder. Lots of separate tacking stitches to arrange the folds and bulk!
While I had the dresses back, I added some more petticoat layers to Ariel’s skirt in order to spread out the fall of rose satin pleats. It was truly hard to judge how much netting to use under those skirt layers without spoiling the surprise with repeated try-ons. I did do one try-on, for Ariel’s hem, without giving away the secret!
I’ve added the trim to Ariel; it is a variegated cord along two edges of its serpentine form, with sparkly silver mylar braid snaking back and forth in the center. If you look at the movie, I’ve added this trim to the places the movie dress has that (pathetic!) periwinkle accent: sleeves, neckline, and waist. The glitz may not be authentic, but hey, these are modern girls! Bring on the sparkles, right? Yes!
Back to Belle, here are some of skirt details. I used a fine nylon cord, the kind used in Roman and Austrian shades, to shir each seam of the skirt and halfway between also, for a total of 6 panels. The underskirt can be adjusted up and down for length, and the petticoat can be let out 2 times for an added 1 1/4″ each time. Princesses grow :)
The girls did know I was making these dresses for their Halloween costumes, but at that age, Halloween is very very far away from the beginning of September! As far as Ms. “Ariel” knew when I measured her hem, she wouldn’t be seeing this dress again for weeks. HA! :)
They actually saw them the next day, and wore them a few days later.
Ms. “Belle” was not feeling supermodel-like at Disneyland, but I am hoping to get her to model the dress again for me. We’ll see how it goes! The lovely Ms. “Ariel” posed like a princess though! I really want to see how they twirl! Hi, girls!
For those of you who may want more technical sewing details, I’ll provide the link [Right Here] to that particular set of pictures at our 2create flickr.com site as soon as they are available.
I loved the challenge and fun of making these Disney princess dresses for these two cuties. I’m priveleged to know this wonderful family, and I know the girls will have a lot of fun!